Animating Spaces is an innovative, three-year state-wide multi-arts project that will revitalise and celebrate significant or unusual spaces within fifteen regional communities through locally-driven arts activities and events. Communities have the opportunity to re-imagining their town, employ local artists and creatives, build capacity, develop cultural project management skills, receive mentoring and support and funding assistance to present three arts projects.
Ipswich River Life revived three neglected locales in and around Ipswich CBD, transforming them into vibrant and dynamic spaces through a series of activities which all came together on Saturday 22 August 2015.
All but forgotten sites - Bottle Alley, Bradfield Bridge and the old TAFE building (now Limestone 88) - were the backdrop to three diverse cultural projects culminating in the final showcase at Animating Spaces Ipswich River Life.
“I was excited about the opportunity to share Ipswich’s rich industrial and textile past with today’s residents and neighbouring communities,” said Animating Spaces Ipswich River Life Community Coordinator Jolanta Szymczyk. “River Life offered a unique experience, a bridge between Ipswich’s past and its future and unlock glimpses of its prosperous past along the banks of the Bremer River”.
SPROUT Ipswich - an ephemeral vertical garden and sculpture was installed on the Bradfield Bridge which connects the Ipswich City Square to Riverlink Shopping Centre. Seeds were propagated over the preceding months with the assistance of schools, community groups and avid gardeners. The final public art installation was unveiled with a live poetry performance and plant and seed bomb giveaways.“I enjoyed working with local artists and seeding a small idea into a community arts project. I love the idea of sustainable art, and combining people with the same vision to make epic artwork come into fruition.’ Kate den Otter, SPROUT Ipswich coordinator
Bottle Alley Mural saw a neglected thoroughfare given a splash of colour with a mural depicting the bottle history of Ipswich. The remnants of the city's industrial past are still being excavated and through this project the city's past has been revealed, celebrated and acknowledged. “The end result was all I envisaged and more. Over 130 people participated in the mural painting from all walks of life and all ages, including members of the community who do not usually participate in arts projects. The mural has become many things to many people who now feel they belong to the space, and have claimed ownership of the artwork.” Bottle Alley Mural Project Coordinator Julie Maddocks
#projectipswich is a print and textile exploration of the iconic architecture of Ipswich, with inspiration and imagery drawn from a cache of images collected on the social media platform Instagram. The initiative provided a collaborative arts opportunity for local artists and designers and concluded with a fashion showcase and artisan market at the old TAFE building now Limestone 88 on the corner of Limestone and Ellenborough streets. With a vision to birth a new textile cottage industry label this project wears “made in Ipswich” proudly on its sleeve. "Through #projectipswich we have taken a group of local creatives on a journey; from print design and print production through to design and construction of their own unique piece of clothing. We have fostered new creative partnerships and provided our group with a starting point for a future bespoke screen printing business." Bec Lewis #projectpswich coordinator